I’m sure by now so many of you have heard the phrase “live your best life”. A motto like that has good intentions I’m sure. But the more I see that way of thinking affecting people today (youths especially), the more I’m starting to feel that a phrase like that just does more harm than good. Let me explain…
I have seen that this motto of living your best life is actually starting to make a lot of people stressed out and feel under pressure. It creates this way of thinking that if at any moment you are unhappy with anything in your life, you need to drop it immediately because it’s keeping you from living your best life. It’s causing us, especially as a generation, to not work as hard as those before us. It’s as if we no longer want to have to endure the hard work that comes along with so many good things in life because why go through that if it’s not “your best life”. Here are some examples.
Take marriage for instance. In prior generations, marriage actually meant something. It was a lifelong commitment to your partner; a promise that even when things got rough, you would still stick it out and work through those it all. But now, we are so quick to give up! If we don’t feel constantly infatuated and in love with our partner, we want to end it. Instead of having that enduring love for our partners, we are so quick to give up because in that moment, we are not “living our best life”. We think, “why go through this if I can just end it and be with someone else who I don’t have problems with”. The thing is though, sooner or later we will start to have problems and disagreements even with that new beau. That infatuation wears off and before you know it, you’re right back where you were with your last partner. We are so quick to think about the what feels best in the moment rather than thinking about the long term consequences of our actions.
Another example is work. Before, it was long understood that you have to do the nitty-gritty, dirty work before you can make your way to the “top”. It was understood that you have to work your way up in your career which meant that you’d probably have to start out doing work that you hated. But it was worth it because there was a goal in sight and you knew that this was the way to start on your road to success. That was the understanding before but now, people just want their first job to be their dream job. They want to start out making millions. I have seen so many people that refuse to do any work (even though their dirt broke and living off their parents) simply because it’s not their dream job or not “what they want to be doing with their lives”. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! It doesn’t matter if this is what you want to do with your life or not. The bottom line is you need money right now for your day to day expenses. You may have to work a retail job, a waitressing job, or at as a gas station clerk for the moment. That doesn’t mean you have to work there indefinitely. You can work on reaching your career goals on the side while you also work a not so glamorous job to get by. That’s just life. But now that we have this expectation that we have to constantly be living our best life, the thinking now is “why work at a job I hate if it’s not my best life?” And I agree that you don’t have to stay at a job that makes you miserable (at least not forever) but you may for a time have to stick it out, just until you have something else you can lean on financially. We have lost our work ethic. We no longer know how to work hard and to endure anything. We want to give up and quit so easily and it’s all because we’re basically told that we should.
Another reason why I don’t like this motto is that I feel it keeps us constantly dissatisfied. Years ago, people would appreciate their “mundane” lives. They appreciated their family unit, their home, they had a steady income, good health, basically they had all their needs met and they were satisfied. Now, we are always constantly striving to be bigger and better. We no longer are OK in a normal family home. No, now we want to live a luxurious fast lifestyle. We want fast cars, exotic trips around the world, a mansion, lots of money, we basically want the life of a celebrity. We’re no longer satisfied with the typical family life because why be satisfied with just that when you can have it all? In a way, it causes us to be greedy because we think that there’s always better out there for us. But you know what, the grass is always greener and will always be. We will always think that there is more out there that will make us happy. But having that mindset is exactly why happiness will always elude us. We will never be content and satisfied in life so we will always feel that we need to trade in our life for a bigger and better one and then we will finally be happy.
I also feel like that saying keeps us from being content with our bodies. I don’t mind people working out and trying to look their best. But I do have a problem when people are constantly going through plastic surgeries and injections, trying to obtain the “perfect” look. It’s no judgement against any person. I think if I had some extreme “flaw” that really made me self conscious, I would maybe consider getting it fixed. But most of the times that’s not what’s happening. People want to give their lips the “perfect” pout, they want to shave their nose down ever so slightly and get injections in their butt to look like a photoshopped version of a celebrity. These aren’t major “flaws”. There is nothing wrong with them to begin with. This is obsessing over your body and trying to get it to obtain a look that you can never achieve (because it’s fake). But we are told to live our best life, which at times involves doing whatever it takes to be “happy” even if it is going under risky, life threatening surgeries. But again, these things hardly ever end with someone feeling happy and satisfied with their results. It often becomes an obsession. Once they see one thing “wrong” they start noticing all these other things they’d like to fix too.
Living your best life basically makes you feel like you can never be satisfied with your current life. You must always be improving and bettering until you one day you are living your best life. It causes us to see “problems” in our life that we never saw before. We are told that we can’t be satisfied being “just a mom”, or a dad who works a normal 9-5 job and comes home to his happy family. Why settle with that when you can have a bigger and better life?
And that ladies and gentlemen is why I hate when we say “live your best life”. I understand that it has good intentions. It basically is supposed to be motivation to better yourself and your life and I am always for that. But I feel the actual outcome of trying to live by this motto is just a generation of people who are never satisfied. When ever we have problems, we just want to drop whatever is causing them and runaway from it. We no longer want to put in the work that most great things in life require. But the thing is that most of the time we have to muddle through the rough times to enjoy the good ones waiting for us on the the other side.
Let me know in the comments below what you guys think. Do you agree with my viewpoint or do you think I’m just taking it all too seriously? I would really love to hear from you and see how you guys feel about it. But until then, I’ll see you all next time. Bye!